Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Placki Ziemniaczane (Polish Potato pancakes)

Santa paid a visit to my home in the middle of the night. My Ping Pong came back. I was sadly sleeping with Ting Ting when at 4 in the morning I heard a maeow which got my heart racing. I shot away to the kitchen to find my mother feeding a dirty , half his original sized Ping Pong.

Ah the joys of having my darling return back to us. (A Bengali would say "ghorer Chele ghore phireche" The boy has returned back to his family where he belongs). I actually had a motive for waking up that early. I did have the little bit of work from a Project left and somehow I always find that I produce my best work after a good night's rest early in the morning when the silence is your only companion and then comes the chirping of the little winged friends.

I knew that the day would start off with celebrations and what better way to start a day than try the one recipe I had been eyeing for a pretty long time. You see this one comes straight from Poland. Someone's Nanna (grandmother) passed on her recipe and her sweet grandchild was kind enough to share the recipe. So Placki Ziemniaczane it was today morning. Delicious hearty potato pancakes served with sour cream. I did replace sour cream with my homemade Chili Garlic dip . Of course somehow Poland always makes me think of sausages, juicy tender, delicious sausages though I have never been to Poland or tasted its famous sausages and of course Warsaw and in turn the second movement of Moonlight Sonata , that one is all on Roman Polanski.

I have this habit of trying to simply know more about a recipe and a quick search made me realize how the world is connected with this one recipe. There are variants of the recipe across Eastern Europe and even one from one of the land of Kebabs, Iran. It can be served as a savoury dish topped with meat sauce with a side of sour cream or even served sweet with apple sauce.

Of course some recipes with their ingredients scream success right from the beginning. with Polish Nanna's recipe in hand I happily grated the potatoes, onions mixed by batter, shallow fried them and we had a beautiful family breakfast. Everyone declared it a raging success. And why wouldn't it be delicious it has potatoes, eggs, flour . I know not of any person who dislikes potatoes. I am not saying there isn't that odd man in an ocean of potato lovers but no I haven't seen it. Serve this for breakfast for your kids and see them gulp down this delicious pancake.

P.S. The glowing happiness of my grandmother on hearing her "Ping- oo" is back is a moment I shall carry with me forever. Unfortunately her allergy of eggs exempted her from the family fun but I have something planned for her for later during the day. Today I shall celebrate till the sun  waves goodbye and the stars shine brightly and beyond as well.

This recipe is as easy as a recipe can get

You need:
3 large potatoes
1 large sized egg
1/4th and a little bit extra all purpose flour
1 small to medium sized onion
Salt and pepper as per taste
Oil for shallow frying

Sour cream for serving

Start by grating the potato and onion and squeezing out every last drop of its juices. I not only squeezed them with by hands. I left them on a big mesh strainer for 20 minutes after squeezing them . There will of course be the starch at the bottom of the pan on which you place the strainer which you would have to discard  . Now simply beat an egg and add a bit of flour and a bit of potatoes and make a smooth batter with salt and pepper . Take a girdle and use 1 to 2 tablespoonful of oil per cake , shape them with wet hands (wet hands help in shaping them easily) into flat circular patterns and shallow fry on both sides till golden brown on low to medium heat. Once you put the batter on the girdle spread out a bit with the back of your spatula to make thinner cakes if you desire so but after flipping them do press them for quicker cooking. Simply serve this with sour cream or a garlicky dip. i cannot wait to get my hands on some fresh sausages and next time eat it with meaty sauce on top. Ah the joys of life. :)

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